Each year, CLACS hosts a Research Colloquium series which combines a graduate level course with a speaker series. The course is co-taught by faculty of distinct disciplines, bringing together different academic fields of study. The event series invites top scholars and practitioners to present their work and research to the NYU community as well as the general public. These cutting-edge themed colloquium series and conferences are the result of faculty working groups.
The rhythm known as the habanera, recognized as the first written music based on an African motif, has zigzagged around the globe for centuries. In this course we will pay close attention to how and why this syncopation pattern, believed to originate in the premodern kingdom of Kongo, today manifests in a wide range of musics--from opera to afrobeats. Team taught by an Afro-Cuban musician and a black diaspora cultural historian, and offered in conjunction with a series of evening seminars featuring renowned scholars, musicians and DJs, this colloquium organizes a central question--what does it mean to hear diaspora? Master classes and listening assignments are designed to build proficiencies with respect to various genres (including, but not limited to ragtime, reggaeton, tango, son, samba, zouk, kizomba, bolero and bachata) and encourage students to experiment with thinking through music. Readings and discussions foster cultural literacies and ask us to consider how contact, circulation, and commodification relay a rhythm that carries a place name to so many different places in the world. The transatlantic traffic in slaves, travel, trade, work, war, migration and music industry marketing figure prominently here. How does this va y ven of people and objects, ideas and sounds oblige us to seriously (re)think notions of intangible heritage and sharpen our awareness of the creative and affective forces that shape and sustain afro diasporic musical cultures?
Colloquium events are open to the public. Click on the links below to learn more about that week's presenters.
January 23, 2023 | Launch Party ft. DJ Medina
January 30, 2023 | The Roots and Routes of Rhythym: Workshop by Mfouambila Kongo & Performance by Román Diaz
February 6, 2023 | Yunior Terry & Son de Altura
February 13, 2023 | Boleros Reimagined with Mireya Ramos, Isabelia Herrera, and Licia Fiol-Matta
February 27, 2023 | Dem bo, Dembow, Dembo with Wayne Marshall, Katelina 'Gata' Eccleston and Angelina Tallaj
March 6, 2023 | From Rara to Rabòday by Pauline Jean
March 27, 2023 | Havánanola with David Virelles and Matt Sakakeeny & Lecture by Matt Sakakeeny
April 3, 2023 | A Son de Qué?
April 10, 2023 | Infectious Rhythym
April 17, 2023 | Dos Maravillas: Cuba-Africa Exchange
May 1, 2023 | Barco Negro
May 8, 2023 | Outro - Farewell Party
Sybil Newton Cooksey (NYU Gallatin) is a scholar of afro-diasporic history whose research unfurls at the intersections of language and literature, music and sound studies, cultural studies and performance philosophy. She teaches courses on black existentialism, Harlem noir, critical humanism, afrolatinidad and black marginal culture. Professor Cooksey is co-editor of Afro-Gothic, a special issue of liquid blackness (2022), and her current book project is entitled, "The Objective I: Black Life Writing in Post-Negrophilia Paris." Other research projects in-progress include essays on the fleshy phenomenology of New Orleans bounce, and on solares soundscapes in 1940s Havana.
Yunior Terry Cabrera (NYU Department of Music) is a graduate of the National School of Art (ENA) in Havana, Cuba with a double major in violin and bass. He holds a B.A. from CalArts, and an M.A. from Rutgers University. Cabrera's principal teachers in the United States have been Charlie Haden, Derek Oles, Peter Rofe (Los Angeles Philharmonic), Putter Smith, Alphonso Johnson and Kenny Davis. While in Cuba, he performed and toured with the Havana Symphony as a violinist. After completing a year of study and ceremonies, he was initiated into the Cabildo Sabalu of Matanzas, Cuba. As an Arara practitioner, he is a cultural bearer of African rhythms, chants, and ceremonies that originated in the African kingdom of Dahomey. He continues to research these traditions along with other African diaspora-based musical and cultural traditions.
The Spring 2023 colloquium is organized by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and the Department of Music.
Additional sessions are made possible with support from the Center for Faculty Advancement, Gallatin Amplified Voices Series, Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora, La Maison Française, and Haitian Creole Language Institute of New York.